Can You Get a Handicap Parking Permit for Autism?

Did you know that many states allow families of autism to apply for a special parking permit?

Most states refer to these special permits as Handicap or Disabled parking permits and (while these terms are outdated – that’s a whole other topic), some states even extend application approval to passengers in your family.

In New Hampshire, for example, you can apply under a Walking Disability. The application provides various conditions that would apply, such as someone who is:

  • “severely limited in the ability to walk due to an arthritic, neurological, orthopedic, or other medically disabling condition.”

In many states you also do not need a walking disability for approval.

In New York, for example, the New York DMV’s application for a Parking Permit or License Plates for Persons with Severe Disabilities reads that a person can apply under these conditions:

  • Has a physical or mental impairment or condition not listed above which constitutes an equal degree of disability, and which imposes unusual hardship in the use of public transportation and prevents the person from getting around without great difficulty?

Other states have the same or similar language.

Simply click here to view your state’s rules and regulations for applying.

Social Perception

Having a pass can provide special needs families with the accommodation they often need. On the other hand, they can also open up a sense of social stigma (or labeling) that some may not feel comfortable with.

We even wrote an article about the need to change the International Accessibility Icon or add another one which better represent those persons with special needs who do not a have walking disability, but still need other accommodations.

There is no right or wrong answer to this. Every family can make a decision as to whether or not applying for a special permit has benefits for their family, but the fact is in most states you can apply and be issued one.

For some families (however government wants to call it), these passes can make a world of difference in day-to-day activities.

Editorial Team at
For parents, family, friends and those with Autism, we provide information to help you put the pieces of the puzzle together.

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